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Here comes everybody by Clay Shirky

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Here Comes Everybody – The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky is the book of the moment.

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It is an on-trend now in 2008 as Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point had been previously. Shirky writes a book about the way that productive, collaborative groups form–groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time: the places where our social networks and technological networks overlap.

Shirky’s prose provides some great case studies that I am likely to turn into slides when I present to teams and clients. It provides important food for thought particularly for those involved in reputation management and crisis communications programmes. Shirky writes in an accessible easy-to-read way that moves his book beyond an audience of web-centric wonks like me to the ‘everybody’ of the book title.

What the book lacks is quantitative data to support the qualitative anecdotal research that Shirky had pulled together. We don’t know how efficient and effective these techniques actually are. They can’t be benchmarked against other tactics. My other concern is that people will think that social media is excessively easy to do. It isn’t; for every successful campaign there are countless numbers of campaigns that don’t get the attention they deserve – the Boycott Strada and Cafe Rouge Facebook group being a case in point.

Here comes everybody is likely to be on your reading list, simply because it will be extensively referenced at least in the near future. More book reviews here.